PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Typhoid Mary & Scrunchies
In the early 1900s, germs were a novel concept. Washing your hands was an optional activity. The idea of being an asymptomatic carrier was nearly unheard of. So when a sanitation engineer named George Soper approached a woman and demanded samples of her blood, urine and feces, she scared him away at forkpoint. She scared the next doctor away, too. But the public health community would not be deterred. They were convinced that Mary Mallon was an asymptomatic spreader of Typhoid. And they had to stop her.
Then Kristin tells us about a nightclub singer named Rommy Revson. Rommy had gorgeous, long hair. She even used it as part of her act. For her first couple of songs, she’d have her hair clipped up with a clampy ring-shaped thingy. Then she’d take it down. But then she had to do the rest of her songs holding that damn hair clip! Rommy knew there had to be a better way. She wanted something that could hold her hair up, without damaging it, and that she could slip on her wrist when she wasn’t wearing it. But that thing didn’t exist. She had to invent it.
And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.
“The Queen of the Scrunchie” episode of the podcast “Every Little Thing”
“Night club singer, Scrunchie inventor Rommy Revson relocates to Rogers” by Kim Souza for Talk Business